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Research domains

Our research program during the reporting period was structured around our Families Framework, first reported in the AIFS Corporate Plan 2018/19 to 2021/22. The Framework outlines four key research areas:

  • Life stages and transitions
  • Family relationships
  • Social and economic participation
  • Challenges for families.

Research activities are either initiated by us or commissioned by another organisation. Institute‑initiated research is funded from the budget appropriation.

Research projects conducted by us range in scale and type, and include:

  • research projects that provide evidence relating to social policy issues
  • major evaluations and reviews of government policies and programs
  • longitudinal studies that provide valuable data on children and their families
  • specialist advisory services commissioned by government agencies
  • information exchanges that collect, evaluate and synthesise evidence about a subject and communicate that evidence to policy and practice professionals.

In addition, we promote research collaboration by sharing data nationally and internationally, and making presentations at a wide range of local and overseas conferences and other meetings (see Appendix C: AIFS publications, events, webinars, presentations and submissions 2018/19, for details).

We communicate our research through a variety of channels, including information exchange activities, publications, conferences, seminars and webinars, podcasts, web-based content, and library help desk and bibliographic services. These communication activities deliver research findings to three broad groups:

  • policy makers, to inform the development and review of policies and programs affecting families
  • service providers, to improve professional practice that supports families
  • the research and general communities, to raise understanding and knowledge of family functioning.